A few months ago at one of our favorite restaurants, Paravicini’s Italian Bistro, we ordered the special, which was short ribs, osso buco style—and it was special, indeed—one of the best Italian dinners we have had. We asked how it was prepared, of course, because my husband suggested I try to make it at home (no pressure, right?!). Owner, Franco Pisani, shared that time was the secret, it must be cooked low and slow, 4-6 hours, he said. Unfortunately, the exact recipe was not forthcoming.
Every osso buco recipe I could find suggested only 2-2 1/2 hours, so I decided to wing-it, which isn’t unusual for me, and the adjustments ensued. Osso Buco Milanese by Tyler Florence was the basis of inspiration for this recipe, though there were many tweaks and modifications. The result was amazing with a mix of bone-in and boneless beef short ribs, a larger variety of vegetables, and yes, a very relaxing 4 1/2 hour cooking time.
Do you ever make a new recipe and feel like you just discovered gold? This is one of those recipes. Succulent beef and tender vegetables that just melt in your mouth—low and slow delivers braised beef perfection.
Do you love hearing Italian? Listen to how to pronounce osso buco here.
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 8-10 pieces beef short ribs -- bone-in and boneless mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole onion -- coarsely chopped
- 3 ribs celery -- coarsely chopped
- 3 large carrots -- cut into ½" discs
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms (baby bellas) -- sliced thick
- 1 whole red bell pepper -- coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic -- finely chopped
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley -- finely chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 14 ounces Italian stewed tomatoes -- undrained, crushed by hand
- ½ cup Israeli couscous -- uncooked (optional)
- Position oven rack low in the oven, preheat oven to 300°. Trim beef ribs of excess outer fat, careful to leave meat attached to the bone. Dry meat with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dust lightly with flour on all sides.
- In a large Dutch oven or pot with a secure lid, heat the butter over med heat. Sear the ribs on all sides, add a little olive oil if needed. Browning the meat is very important to the flavor of this dish. Remove the seared meat and reserve on a platter.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bay leaves, thyme, and parsley.
- Raise the heat just a little and add the wine to deglaze the pan.
- Return the ribs to the pan add the stock, tomatoes and juice, stir to incorporate all the ingredients and make sure the meat is mostly covered. Bring it to a simmer, and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Secure a lid on the pot and place in the preheated oven; cook for 4-41/2 hours.
- Optional: Once ribs are done, remove from the oven and turn oven off. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir-in couscous, replace lid and return to the oven (still off), for 10-15 minutes.
- When ready to serve, make a bed of the vegetables on a plate and set ribs on top. Serve with French green beans or a side salad.